Lion Of The East
MAXIM Australia|June 2020
How to live among the gods in Singapore, one of the most sybaritic cities on Earth...
Keith Gordon

In July, when billionaire entrepreneur Sir James Dyson purchased a US$32 million Good Class Bungalow, with prime views of the Botanic Gardens in one of Singapore’s most exclusive neighbourhoods, it might have been a case of déjà vu for local residents. After all, he had just completed the purchase of the most expensive penthouse apartment in the city-state only weeks prior, the US$54 million super-triplex at the elite Wallich Residence in the tallest skyscraper in Singapore. Even in a city of exorbitant wealth, limited space, and a premium for real estate, Dyson had made a statement. In a city of billionaires, the British inventor wasn’t going to settle, he insisted on the best.

But for a country whose large number of billionaire residents belies its small size, with 22 calling the city-state home, it was the Good Class Bungalow purchase that caught the public’s attention. Due to limited space, this category of home (there are only around 2,800 that exist), consisting of more than 15,000 square feet and typically including ownership of the land itself, is a symbol of wealth and one of the most sought-after purchases in the city. Singapore’s role as an international centre of business and commerce might only now be getting the attention it deserves as one of the world’s great financial centres, but the truth is the city-state has maintained its vital importance to the global economy for centuries.

“NOT ONLY IS SINGAPORE HOME TO PLENTY OF BILLIONAIRES, IT IS ONE OF THE MOST EXPENSIVE CITIES IN THE WORLD.”

Despite a location that has ensured its geographical significance in Asia for more than 700 years, it wasn’t until the British established a trading post there in 1819 that it started to become the economic centre it is today; but since then it has become a bridge between Asia and the rest of the world, developing into a hub of economic activity for the region, and eventually the world.

Not only is Singapore home to plenty of billionaires, it is one of the most expensive cities in the world for residents of any tax bracket. While this makes day-to-day living expensive, it also means that those visiting the city have access to a lifestyle of luxury and opulence found in few other places on Earth.

The infinity pool atop the Marina Bay Sands is one of the must-visit attractions in Singapore, and one of the most stunning vantages in all of Asia

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